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Archive for August 10th, 2003

Wonderful, Marvelous Day!

Sunday, August 10th, 2003

mom encouraging baby to danceWhat a wonderful day! I slept in (hope I can do the same tomorrow) which started me out right. I’ve been so tired lately. When I try to write these blog entries I can see why I’m tired, I’m doing so much it doesn’t fit in one column! I need to start staying no, but I’m having so much fun it’s hard to imagine why… until I’m falling asleep at the keyboard writing you all.

I went to the Folk Festival again today. Saw, among other things, Stella Chiweshe from Zimbabwe on thumb piano. Fabulous, with excellent backup musicians. Listened to a few pieces by Tamburitza Rroma (“Gypsy” music, several guys playing what looked like small guitars but they played them like mandolins). Also visited Jacquie Vaughan in the folk tradition tent where she was spinning wool/silk yarn on her wheel, with son Terry in tow. We heard a little bit of Ginny Hawker & Tracy Schwarz (excellent harmonies), and saw our friend Ron McKeever play with Lare Williams’ band (bluegrass).

We finished our music day by dancing a few pieces at the dance tent, to Nick Villarreal who we danced to last night. It was just the most lovely day one could have had. I have a tonload of pictures to process from the weekend and will put them together for you tomorrow. For now I’ll give you one: a mommy encouraging her toddler girl to dance. The girl was having fun, not moving her feet at all but clapping very contentedly. It was a beautiful scene.

Oh, in addition to the music I heard, I saw some dance. There was a young lady, I think she said she was 16 years old, performing a dance from Northern India, called Kathak. Just wonderful. Totally fabulous. I got a few pics of her, I hope they turned out.

After the Festival ended, I went to my Mother’s house for Working Women Artists. Mom did the program on food as art: Danish sandwiches. Gorgeous. Not only that, she made a special loaf of soda bread (raised by baking soda and lemon juice rather than yeast) so that I could have some sandwiches, too. Thanks, Mom! She sent me home with the rest of the loaf.

I don’t like to bake, so I’ve never made this bread for myself. Mom has done it for me several times. It’s great bread even if you can have other breads. I am so excited, because tonight when I got home I made toast with non-dairy margarine and lingonberry jam. Yum! I have not had toast in about 12 years. It was so fabulous it’s tempting to say that snack was the best thing I did today. However, it was such a wonderful day I can’t compare anything, all things I did were just wonderful.

After Working Women Artists, I took some of the artful open-faced Danish sandwiches to a “pickin’ party” (music jam session) that was thrown by Mike Cutler. Mike was the one who named our band “The Fabulous Heftones.” He works with Brian and knows how to throw an excellent party! He’s also a fabulous musician on several instruments, but lately it seems I see him playing mandolin most.

It was a fun party. I got to talk with Kathy, a music friend I seem to never see except at parties, but we talk a lot whenever we’re at the same gathering. It was her husband, Mark, who gave me the knitting machine last week. You see, in Lansing, every creative person is connected to every other creative person somehow!!!

OK, we’ll end with Mom’s Soda Bread recipe. She started with another recipe, but she has changed all but 2 ingredients so it is her recipe now! It’s crusty and chewy, a very satisfying food. Thank you, Mom.

Liz Troldahl’s Modern Soda Bread (not gluten-free)
3 cups white flour
1 cup oatmeal
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar (optional)
1-3/4 or 1-7/8 c water
with 2 Tbsp lemon juice added

Pre-heat your oven at 450 degrees F.

In a large bowl, sift dry ingredients together. Fluff the dry ingredients to introduce air. Add enough water/lemon juice combination to make soft dough (not all of 2 cups). (At this point work quickly before the bread stops rising.) Briefly knead the dough with a light hand.

Form a round loaf three or four inches high (a fist high). Place on floured baking sheet and cut a cross in the top (use a floured knife). Place in preheated oven without delay, on the top rack. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes.

To determine if it is baked well, turn over loaf and knock on the bottom as you would a melon or a door. It should sound hollow.

Remove from oven and wrap in a towel to keep from drying out the crust. When cooled off, slice and enjoy.